In yet more news of trouble-plagued, out-of-control productions that remain both troubled and out of control, The Hollywood Reporter continues today's budgetary tsk-ing with a look at Disney's The Lone Ranger, the Gore Verbinski-directed film that already slaughtered scores of supernatural coyotes in the name of corporate-directed commodity over art. As it turns out, they all may have died supernaturally howling in vain: THR says that the film has already gone back up to—and possibly even surpassed—the swollen $250 million budget that it was originally forced to slash, with the film once again undergoing cuts and rewrites, even as it continues to run weeks behind on its shooting schedule.
Part of the reason for the delays and rising costs, THR says, can be blamed on wind and dust storms that have repeatedly battered sets. But some of it can also apparently be blamed on Verbinski who—having already given up the aforementioned supernatural coyotes—refuses to make any more artistic sacrifices, and is thus asking his team to "construct its own locomotives from scratch," rather than using existing, off-the-rack trains that do not have the bespoke feel audiences would demand from their rebooted Lone Ranger franchise. ("Ugh, you just know those trains were used to haul cattle or something equally gauche," one imagines audiences saying, as they exit the theaters to vomit.) Anyway, unlike the World War Z situation, at least Verbinski's uncompromising attention to detail and demand for handcrafted trains doesn't seem to be worrying studio executives just yet, who seem positive that the film will eventually be a big success, provided Johnny Depp doesn't ask for any more elaborate hats.